Does one really need referrals?

Jun 28 16 Comments

I applied and interviewed at a bunch of companies incl most FANGs and well paying unicorns in recent weeks (more than 10).
For most of them I either got contacted a recruiter on LinkedIn or I just applied directly without a referral. The only one I applied with referral was Twitter (friend wanted to have the referral bonus) even though two recruiters reached out to me on LinkedIn too. Almost all the companies I applied, invited me for an interview, except for Airbnb, Snowflake, Waymo (latter two the role was probably not a good fit).

I realize that some folks will call me out for humble bragging but I'd just like to see how my experience compares with others.

Question is:
Why is everyone asking for referrals? Is it really so difficult to get into the good companies without a referral? I also wonder if referrals actually help beyond the initial contact (ie. getting to the offer stage)?

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Facebook / Eng lkj630
    Weird flex but okay
    Jun 28 0
  • New / Eng *(void*)0
    Why are you still at SAP then? 🤔
    Jun 28 1
    • OP
      Good point, fortunately I'm not anymore since a few years. Currently at a small startup which is not blind listed but going to a 🦄 once visa transfer completes. And yeah SAP sucks big time.
      Jun 28
  • Pronto Insurance / Data
    csusgrad19

    Pronto Insurance Data

    PRE
    eClinicalWorks
    BIO
    Actively looking for full-time opportunities in Analytics, preferably in the Bay Area. Master's graduate in Business Analytics from UTD
    csusgrad19more
    Oh I’m uniquely positioned to answer this question. I’ve been asking for referrals almost every other day here on Blind and FAANG employees have actually been helping me out!

    I have 2 YOE and am trying to get into analytics. MS from UTD graduated Spring 2019 and an internship with a full-time offer from a F-500 company.

    I have submitted almost a 1000+ applications since Summer 2018 for internship and full-time opportunities and interviewed with 3; Google, Intuit and Juul Labs.

    From my experience, companies aren’t generally willing to sponsor due to current immigration climate. Also, I’m competing in a field with people who have 4+ YOE and probably better credentials than I do. There aren’t a lot of openings for my role and therefore my application needs a considerable push to actually get to an HR’s table. The resume I use is university approved and I repeatedly ask experienced people to critique it and suggest changes. I also talior my resume to every job I apply for.

    I hardly know anyone who got into a company they’re in right now just by applying and networking. Most of them had referrals put in, and others were already working for an MNC when they came to the US, and just resumed their position in one of their local offices.

    You’re either really lucky or incredibly skilled to have so many companies asking you to interview with them. For us, these opportunities are pretty hard to come by :/
    Jun 28 1
    • IMS Health / IT
      iLoveLeet

      IMS Health IT

      PRE
      Cognizant
      BIO
      Software professional always looking for something better
      iLoveLeetmore
      Same situation with me.
      Jun 28
  • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
    Did full interview loops for Google, Amazon, Jane Street, Hudson River Trading, DRW.

    Never received initial phone screen from FB, Apple, Uber, Square, Lyft, Twitter, pretty much all the other west coast big names.

    I would say unless your resume is on lock, you’ll want referrals.
    Jun 28 0
  • IMS Health / IT
    iLoveLeet

    IMS Health IT

    PRE
    Cognizant
    BIO
    Software professional always looking for something better
    iLoveLeetmore
    May be your resume is really good to get so many calls.
    I applied to ton if jobs with which my skill set matches but still dint get call.
    Jun 28 0
  • Microsoft / Project
    2thecloud!

    Microsoft Project

    PRE
    Microsoft
    2thecloud!more
    I applied online to AMZN and Salesforce and got full interview loops with both, without a referral- no offers. Boom. Top that!!😅
    Jun 28 3
    • IMS Health / IT
      iLoveLeet

      IMS Health IT

      PRE
      Cognizant
      BIO
      Software professional always looking for something better
      iLoveLeetmore
      Your current company name is sufficient to get calls my friend
      Jun 28
    • Microsoft / Project
      2thecloud!

      Microsoft Project

      PRE
      Microsoft
      2thecloud!more
      ‘Everyone takes my calls’
      Jun 28
    • IMS Health / IT
      iLoveLeet

      IMS Health IT

      PRE
      Cognizant
      BIO
      Software professional always looking for something better
      iLoveLeetmore
      Nice
      Jun 28
  • Microsoft / Eng moosaka
    I've heard if you're referred.. Some companies let you skip the phone screen.. Is that true?
    Jun 28 0
  • Microsoft / Eng
    😂 😂J

    Microsoft Eng

    PRE
    Vodafone
    BIO
    Just curious
    😂 😂Jmore
    I got contacted a recruiter from MS and got the job. I applied for Amazon directly and got an offer without any referrals
    Jun 28 0
  • Chevron kuulcoder
    Is it hard to get through the interview process without a referral or once you’re at the phone screen is it level headed?
    Jun 28 1
    • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
      Once you start the process you’re on equal footing with any other candidate in terms of the ds/algo portion of the interview.
      Jun 28
  • Bloomberg EVALSlayer
    Apparently, it matters at Google. I was told so by the internal recruiter, by my friends who have been working at google, and by my friends who just got hired by Google. I’m flying solo though. Saving the referrals as plan B.

    The only place I got a referral for was Citadel where I got unreasonably rejected after solving both problems and passing all the test cases except for a tiny crash when printing the last element of the list which I was about to fix, but ran out of time.
    Jun 28 0